Britain has the talent and innovation to be digital leaders, says ITV boss

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ITV CEO welcomes government’s new digital strategy

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Looking at London Tech Week it is very clear that almost all businesses in the UK economy are deeply influenced by technology which brings significant opportunities as well as challenges.

The media and entertainment industry has seen a tremendous amount of change with technology disrupting the way programs are delivered and decades of doing things. Technology has put smart TVs at the center of this content explosion and has led to changes in consumer behavior where viewers can choose when they watch. It has also created the ability to advertise in a highly targeted manner.

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Consumers have immensely benefited from the vast choice of programs now with them.

But this change meant that a business model, which has been established for so long, had to change and adapt and adopt new models to get programs and engage with audiences as competition for audiences intensified. Has been.

In response to this tsunami of technology-driven change, ITV launched the Do TV strategy with digital transformation at its core in 2018. Now with a digital foundation, and new capabilities at ITV, we recently announced another step change in this strategy – the launch of a new, free streaming service, ITVX.

Coinciding with Tech Week, we announced more details of ITVX, which is set to launch later this year, including over 9,000 hours of brand new series, cult classics, documentaries and movies. There will be a fresh content drop every week that will be exclusive to the service.

Supercharging is just one element of our involvement in the streaming technology ecosystem – data and analytics now underpin all aspects of ITV’s strategy.

The second area of ​​real change is in our offerings to advertisers and commercial partners.

Over the past 18 months we have launched Planet V – our proprietary programmatic platform for premium video advertising. It is now operating on a large scale and has become the UK’s second largest operator in the region after Google.

This helps explain why ITV attracted nearly a hundred new advertisers to TV for the first time last year — most of whom are digital brands.

The third area that is leveraging technology to become more efficient and productive is our global production business – ITV Studios.

It has more than doubled sales of fast-growing streamers and is currently looking to move the entire lifecycle of content management from editing and distribution to access and storage to the cloud.

And of course, the way we work is changing as well – data informs more of the decisions we make in our business, specifically how we understand audiences, what products and programs we offer them and How do we reach and connect with them.

We have established a data and analytics center of excellence and have invested in our cloud-based capabilities across ITV.

As many organizations know, the demand for people with technology, data and insight skills is heating up the market.

In fact, there is such pressure on companies to improve their recruiting in the sector that many of ITV’s successful in-house technology recruiting teams have themselves been victimized by rival businesses.

It is against this background that we welcome the publication of the government’s new UK digital strategy at London Tech Week.

The government strategy is a good start but we need the UK education sector at all levels to move towards these skills.

Starting a Digital Skills Council to bring business together with government and academia to make sure those skills are available seems like a valuable place to start and ITV is happy to contribute and participate because Without these skills the transformation of British businesses is dramatically slowed down and Britain’s very difficult goal of increasing its productivity is further behind.

I want the council to really focus on how to increase diversity even within the tech industry – there are too few women and a range of backgrounds.

Research also shows that even relatively young people wrongly believe they are too old to pursue a career in technology.

We need more role models to which the wider public can relate and the government needs to continue to fund reskilling and upskilling to encourage companies to do so on a large scale and already created by businesses like ITV. One of the roles going on is to provide new entrants with a path. ,

How else can a British business compete in the market for talent?

It is clear from ITV’s experience that the employer brand and its purpose and value help promote recruitment.

We have found it necessary that we are living our purpose.

People expect the organization they work for to have a purpose beyond profit and share their values.

They want the company they join to be relevant and relevant to employees, open to their questions and input. We’ve also found that many people are looking for flexible working – and this is especially true when recruiting millennials.

They are likely to ask about a company’s gender pay gap or climate action strategy as its profit plan.

Those joining ITV talk about our work in mental health like Britain’s Get Talking – the country’s most recognized mental health campaign – and our work on diversity and inclusion on and behind the screen.

They tell us they’re also interested in us because we reflect and shape both culture and society with entertainment shows like Love Island, I’m A Celebrity and The Masked Singer, Trigger Point and The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe. continue to give. And of course our award winning news and current affairs programmes.

And it’s not just recruitment.

We know that it is equally important to develop and retain at least one talent and provide skill training to all.

We also have various mentoring and coaching plans for our people at different levels as we know these improve performance and retain talent

Currently 80% of all jobs advertised in the UK require digital skills.

And even more remarkable, it is predicted that in 2030 more than 80% of the UK workforce is already working today.

So we all need to increase our existing workforce. ITV is actively working with technology partners to expand our technical skills training.

There is no doubt that the lack of key digital skills is a challenge but I remain optimistic nonetheless.

We’re doing exciting and innovative technology and transforming our business at a rapid pace, and that’s extremely attractive to the tech community.

British businesses can be smart, agile and fast-moving.

The fact that the UK produces a unicorn every 11 days shows that we have the talent and innovation to be the leaders of this digital revolution.

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